Supporting Arab autocrats may produce some short-term gains, but at the price of long-term disaster.
Recent airstrikes in Hasakah by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may signal a shift in strategy against Kurdish movements in Syria.
As it becomes possible to take stock of the situation in Manbij and a new administration moves in, the city will be seen as an important bellwether in the war against the Islamic State.
In Libya, the struggle to root out the Islamic State goes beyond the battlefield to the broken state left behind by Muammar Qaddafi and the lack of international support following the 2011 uprising.
Competing forces in the Syrian city of Aleppo have managed to place each other under siege, likely prompting further fighting at great human cost.
In Libya, the government and its network of loosely affiliated militias struggle to defeat the Islamic State while at the same time working to build a functioning Libyan state.
Assad’s campaign to reconquer Aleppo could have disastrous humanitarian consequences as well as broad effects on the political and military standing of the rebellion.
Five years into the civil war in Syria, the effects have been felt globally and few paths toward peace appear viable.
While Tunisia is often and rightly lauded for its progress, social inequality and regional asymmetries are undermining the country’s democratic transition.
The Syrian government has been able to offset its manpower shortage by relying on local actors with decades-old ties to the regime, but counting on these proxies may no longer be possible.